Mystic Bridge (Ellen McIlwaine/Cassius Khan)

I met Ellen Mcilwaine in 2003, who contacted me for a gig in Calgary, Alberta. Naturally, I was very excited as I was a huge fan of the World’s First Lady of the Slide Guitar, and the fact that she worked with so many legends of music, including Jimi Hendrix, was humbling to me. My wife Amika, who was girlfriend at the time, and myself braved the icy highway and drove to Calgary from Edmonton through a blizzard to perform with Ellen at the Ironwood Stage and Grill, a small venue, and when we played together, it was magical! After a number of years touring everywhere, in 2006 we decided to record this album together in Calgary and also at Stu Goldberg’s studio in Penticton. Ellen is one of the greatest musicians of R&B and Blues I have ever known. This album is a testament of how music has one universal language. I was also very humbled that Ellen, an incredible vocalist with a tonal flexibility like none I had ever seen, asked me to sing alongside her in this album, and I sang Raga Darbari over a poem she spoke, called “The Question.” When I was traveling to Calgary to record with Ellen, my old Mercedes almost caught fire because the fuel had started leaking from the tank. That was funny.